Monday, November 19, 2018
Legal Interviewing & Language Access Film Project -- Videos & Teacher's Guide for Use in Teaching Client Interviewing
Laila Hlass at Tulane University Law School and Lindsay Harris at the University of the District of Columbia Law are pleased to share two videos we developed with the support of a Carol Lavin Bernick Faculty Grant from Tulane to teach students about legal interviewing and language access. For a description of this project and links to the videos, please check out this webpage. Our videos can be found on this youtube channel, including a short introduction video explaining briefly how the videos can be used. These videos could be used in a variety of experiential learning settings, including in clinic seminars, within externships or practicums, or in preparation for intensive alternative Spring Break experiences. Although the interviews in the videos relate to immigration law, we believe the interviewing issues are intersectional across all issue areas.
In our first video, Interviewing Victor: The Initial Meeting, two law students Lisa and Max interview a teenage asylum-seeker in removal proceedings, raising a number of issues relating to initial client interviewing, including: Road mapping and organization of the interview; Building rapport; Confidentiality; Role description, including representation at later stages, and explaining the arc of case; Verbal and nonverbal cues; Tone; Answering client questions or ethical issues that are difficult and unexpected; Recording the interview and seeking permission; Taking notes; Form of questions; Word choice; Approaches to sensitive topics and response to client’s distress; Client-centered lawyering; and Working with a co-interviewer.
In the second video, Josefina: Using an Interpreter, the same two law students work with interpreters to interview a monolingual Spanish-speaking client seeking a U visa as a victim of a crime in the United States. This video raises questions regarding: Using third person; Pacing of speech; Summarization and expansion of interpretation; Challenges when one student speaks the client’s language but partner does not; Confidentiality; Use of interested parties, such as family members; Approaches to changing interpreters; and Use of common language words where the interpreter doesn’t know the intended meaning.
We have developed a teaching guide with suggestions about how to use the videos in class (where students can yell "stop" to pause for an in-class discussion of the choices the fictitious clinic students are making), or as an out of class assignment with prompts. We are happy to share this teaching guide and just ask you email us to request it and let us know for which law school course you are considering using the film. The videos run about 20 minutes, but are in "chapters," (saved as "playlists" on youtube) so you can fast-forward to highlight the issues you'd like to in class. The teacher's guide also includes exercises to suggest how to "flip the classroom" and have the students watch the videos outside of class time and either reflect in writing or discuss in class, or both.
We hope you find these videos useful and for experiential educators who plan to be at the AALS Clinical Conference in San Francisco in May 2019, we'll be presenting during a concurrent session with a few teachers who have already committed to using these videos in the Spring to share benefits and challenges of teaching these subjects with the videos, and hope to see you there!
To request a copy of the teacher's guide, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with the name of the course in which you are considering using the videos.